Also: 'Boardwalk Empire' themed Drew Toonz, and Hot Tuna at Stockton PAC
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Tribute at Chelsea Feb. 16
The Jazz Corner series at the Chelsea’s posh Living Room will honor the legacy of the late and beloved musician Art Blakey during its next evening of live jazz on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 6-10pm.
Blakey, who lived in Northfield for several years with his long-time love Sandy Warren — who helped raise Blakey’s son Takashi in both the Northfield and Ocean City school systems — was a huge fan of Atlantic City, often popping into the many jazz clubs that used to exist in the resort. He was also a man who loved his food. The many recipes he and Warren created over the years have recently been released in Warren’s new book Art Blakey Cookin’ and Jammin’ — Recipes and Remembrances from a Jazz Life.
Along with the delicious-looking recipes, there are some great rare photos of Blakey in the book. The cover shot was taken in Smithville in the late 1970s and pictures Blakey with his son Takashi. The photo originally appeared on the cover of Blakey’s album Gypsy Folk Tales. The culinary memoir also recounts Warren and Blakey’s relationship together. Warren will have copies of the book on hand at the event and will sign them during the evening’s 6-7pm happy hour. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to musician charities in New Orleans.
Following that, the Hassan Abdullah Quintet will perform, highlighting both the music of Blakey, and also of his band/jazz training camp, The Jazz Messengers, a group that Blakey led for decades up until his death in 1990. With an assortment of revolving young talented players, many of whom would become some of the biggest names in jazz, the Messengers also included the late bassist Charles Fambrough, who died of heart failure on New Year’s Day 2011.
He will also be honored musically. As well as a teacher himself, Fambrough was a constant force in the former jazz clubs of Philadelphia and Atlantic City and performed more than once at the Cape May Jazz Festival. In March 2007, he headlined the Somers Point Jazz Society’s Jazz @ The Point festival, which honored Art Blakey that year. Fambrough also performed in the Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation’s annual summer Jazz on the Beach series in Atlantic City. According to Henrietta Shelton, of the foundation and co-creator of the Jazz Corner series, Fambrough played a huge part in getting the summer jazz series off the ground and spreading the word to fellow musicians that they should be a part of it.
“He helped get more artists involved and played early on in the series,” recalls Warren, of Atlantic City. “He was playing with the Messengers at a time when he was living just on the New Jersey side of Philadelphia. It’s great that Hassan will be highlighting his music and Art’s because he is a walking file of not only music, but jazz history. We couldn’t have a better person doing it.”
Wednesday’s event, says Warren, is something that Blakey would have enjoyed. “It’s something he would have wanted me to do because he loved living down here so much and raising Takashi down here, and just running around Atlantic City and the whole area. He was friends with all of the local musicians and this is just something he would have said, ‘Yes do this,’ so I’m looking forward to it.”
Following this Black History Program event, the Jazz Corner series will continue through March. A donation of $10 is requested at each show. “I wanted to do something really meaningful during Black History Month,” says Warren, who is in the midst of beginning to shop her book around the world, “and this seemed to be the right thing. I’m honored to be a part of this night with Hassan and Henrietta. It’s very exciting.”
Find an updated schedule for the Jazz Corner series at chickenbonebeach.org. The series is for those 21 and older. Also, check out cookinandjammin.com. — Jeff Schwachter
Charlie Musselwhite, one of the top blues harmonica players of all time, appears at Stockton’s PAC on Monday, Feb. 14, along with the folk-rock-blues outfit Hot Tuna’s Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassidy, and Jim Lauderdale ($25, 7:30pm, Stockton.edu/pac). Musselwhite, who watched and listened to blues legends such as Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter in person at nightclubs while growing up in Chicago, eventually headed to California where he would begin his own recording career in the 1960s. Since that time he’s released 30 of his own albums, several of them hits on the blues charts, and has played with countless performers. He’s also kicked a drinking problem — he hasn’t had a drink since the late 1980s — and has played with countless musicians around the world and on recordings. His latest release, The Well, earned him five 2011 Blues Music Awards and has been heralded by critics from across the country. The Well is a powerful record, with deft harp playing, of course, personal lyrics sung in Musselwhite’s quirky Mose Allison-esque voice, and a top-notch band. His tour with Hot Tuna, which began last month, wraps up in March. “We’ve all been friends for many years,” Musselwhite tells AC Weekly, “but we never really got the chance to work together. ... We have so much fun up there on stage that the audience can’t help but to have fun. It’s a great show and really a good time.” There will be two sets. The first will be a semi-acoustic, “sit-down” set, during which all of the musicians will appear. “Then during the second set, we crank it up, and rock it up and blues it up and it’s more electrified.”
(See a Web exclusive Q&A with Musselwhite here.) — Jeff Schwachter
In keeping with Atlantic City’s multi-cultural heritage, the Chelsea hotel is blending a variety of international influences into an extensive entertainment slate throughout the summer.
Plus Drew Toonz, the Atlantic City Antiques Show and (New!) Singles of the Week
The Mulgrew Miller Trio and Jimmy Cobb's Mob headline this year's 15th annual Cape Bank Jazz @ The Point Festival in March.
Plus the Chip Miller Surf & Turf events, Album of the Week, and DrewToonz's take on Resorts' upcoming circuses
The Somers Point Jazz Society is presenting a free musical and educational program in Ocean City on Sundays (2-3:15pm) during the month of July.
Plus Bob Dylan's recently discovered 1963 concert at Brandeis finally released, and find out about the upcoming RNS Amazing Taste event.
"I love my beach art. ... Waves are powerful. Capturing that power unleashes my own. I feel something with every piece. When it comes out of me, it’s like saying 'hello' to a new friend. When I sell it, it’s like saying 'goodbye' to an old one.”
Before Kicking off the Jazz on the Beach concert series in 2000, Henrietta Shelton hadn't realized that it would put her American Express card $14,000 in debt. But the president and founder of the Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation, Inc., wasn't going to let a little thing like money stop her from nurturing the series into one of the city's most popular summer events. "It's just a project I believe in," says Shelton, a 31-year employee at the William J. Hughes Technical Center. The long-time A.C. resident is currently making final arrangements for this summer's concert series, which is scheduled to begin July 6 and run through Aug. 24 at Kennedy Plaza. Initially, the idea for the free weekly concert series, which has presented well known jazz musicians (Donald Byrd, Gloria Lynne, Greg Osby) on the Boardwalk during the months of July and August for the past several years, came to Shelton after presenting a single concert on the beach at Missouri Avenue featuring famed jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers in August 2000. "We had over 2,000 people on the beach," remembers Shelton, who held the concert in memory of the spirit of all those summers she experienced growing up in A.C. during...
It’s been 10 years since Henrietta Shelton first organized the Chicken Bone Beach free concert series on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. And despite a decade of bringing great jazz groups to the resort, the biggest testament to the series’ success may come on Thursday, Aug. 27, when New York’s Finest Jazz Ensemble (made up of N.Y.P.D officers, thus New York’s finest) takes the stage.
Since 2000, Atlantic City native Henrietta Wallace Shelton has been keeping the spirit of Chicken Bone Beach alive with annual free jazz series, workshops and special concerts. The term "Chicken Bone...
Do you like the beach? And summer? And live music? And free? Well, the Jazz on the Beach series, which runs Thursday evenings through Aug. 12, is just for you. Especially if you love jazz. The 11th annual Jazz on the Beach concert series in Atlantic City is chock full of amazing talent this year and includes performances by Avery Sharpe with Pete Chavez opening on July 8 and John Blake Jr. with Hassan Abdullah opening on July 15. Each show — the series is put on by A.C.’s Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation (CBBHF) — is presented at Kennedy Plaza on the Atlantic City Boardwalk from 7-10pm. The series kicked off July 1 with Ralph Peterson Jr. Kennedy Plaza, on the Boardwalk between Mississippi and Georgia avenues, has a stage for the bands and offers beautiful...
Soon one of the hottest spots in Atlantic City will get even hotter. The newly opened, retro-styled Chelsea hotel will become the home of a new weekly jazz series in town, which, as it would appear, is the perfect match with the series' open-minded slate of performances
May Is Month of the Burger